2015 Chesapeake Bay Cruise
Schedule of Courses
Ocean Training Cruises
Monday, July 13, 2015
Some of us arrived last night, had a
pleasant dinner at Bay Wolf Restaurant, and provisioned the boat thereafter
before getting a good night’s sleep. By 0800 today, my student crew is
complete. We check out the boat above and below decks, review line and winch
handling plus dinghy and outboard motor operations. Next, we go over charts
and a sample navigation plan before casting off to start serious training in
the harbor, such as picking up moorings and performing a Mediterranean
mooring. Since the day’s wind has died, we motor to our first destination
and navigational challenge: the very narrow channel to Queenstown on the lower
Chester River. We drop anchor and enjoy a companionable dinner while watching
a beautiful sun set.
We begin by covering engineering topics
(power, electrical, troubleshooting measures). Rock who had taken his first
Maryland School classes nine years ago and wanted to reconnect, is an eager,
competent participant here. Once again we navigate the narrow Queenstown
Channel, perform MOB (Man Overboard) evolutions plus engine maneuvers and set
all sails to take advantage of a nice breeze on our starboard quarter. We take
the first of many bearing fixes and learn to include range bearings (Swan
Point North Range is perfect here), depth contours and – as a first step
toward GPS navigation -- latitude or longitude lines printed on the chart.
Byrne is rising to the challenge of navigating us into Mill Creek off the
Severn River where we tie up at famous Cantler’s sea food restaurant for a
superb meal ashore.
We depart the Cantler’s slip and stop
at Whitehall Bay to learn how to set two anchors off the bow. Steve had asked
for more in-depth practice with chart interpretation. So this is a perfect
time to break out NOAA-Chart No. 1
and decipher “mysterious” markings, color lines, and notes and apply them
as we develop our next navigation plans. We practice one more MOB maneuver
under engine, before touring Annapolis Harbor on our way to the pump-out
station where docking maneuvers are part of this evolution. On our way to the
West River, now a treat for my crew: The wind is again on our starboard
quarter and perfect for a demonstration of how to set and carry a poled-out
jib. None of my shipmates had ever practiced this and were gratified we had
that opportunity. Rock had “such a blast” at the wheel that he was
reluctant to relinquish it until he, too, recognized “it’s hot out
there” and a water break is in order. Our docking at Pirate’s Cove is
completed without a hitch. We enjoy showers in the marina followed by the best
sea food dinner yet.
We begin this day by learning about and
then performing DR (Deduced or Dead Reckoning) navigation which includes
recording hourly weather observations and status indicators concerning the
boat and its systems. Using Chart No.
12270, Chesapeake Bay, Eastern Bay to South River, the crew picks a DR
track of 133 degrees True from G “1A” Fl G 2.5s at the mouth of the West
River to G “1E” Fl G 4s South of Kent Point and at the entrance to Eastern
Bay. Brisk NNE winds at 15 to 20 knots on the beam prompt us to double-reef
the main as we speed across the Bay toward St. Michaels on the Miles River. We
tie up at the Crab Claw Restaurant for a light lunch and a quick tour of the
St. Michaels Maritime Museum. The ASA-104 test completed (all pass), we cast
off again to make our way to our last anchorage at beautiful Tilghman Creek
and one more enjoyable dinner aboard.
On our last day, we make ready to pass
through the Kent Narrows Bridge, a two-leaf bascule bridge, Horizontal
Clearance 48 ft., Vertical Clearance 18 ft. (closed) connecting Prospect Bay
and the Chester River that opens during the day every half hour on demand.
Byrne is particularly eager to have that experience so he will be at the helm
when the time comes. Steve, using again Chart 12270, has worked out a very
good navigation plan that includes a latitude/longitude waypoint West of
Tilghman Point at 38º51.33' North; 076º14.66' West
where we’ll make our turn to 353 True to G “1P” Fl G 4s East of Parsons
Island. Upon leaving Tilghman Creek, we pass the double topsail schooner SULTANA, a replica of a colonial era (1768-1772) revenue schooner in the
British Navy. Our passage proceeds flawlessly, Steve has the VHF comm with the
Bridge Tender on Channel 13 and discusses safe passage. Ed is steering
skillfully through the bridge opening against a strong current. Now Rock has
the wheel. The sail up Chester River is uneventful. We pump out, fuel up
(students are docking) and put the good ship Acadame
safely back in her slip.
We have created wonderful memories,
Shipmates. Your captain thanks you.
Fair Winds, always...
Captain H. Jochen Hoffmann